Harmon Kardon, the manufacturer of home audio products since 1953 and more recently bought out and now owned by Samsung, took time at the IFA Show in Berlin to release their range of SONOS rivalling smart home speakers.
Their range launched under the CITATION name includes a whole suite of speakers, soundbars and a subwoofer. All feature voice technology from Google Assistant and support Chromecast, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi for multi room music.
The voice controlled smart speaker range starts with the CITATION ONE (aimed squarely at Sonos ONE) then the CITATION 100, 300 and 500 series - The 300 and 500 series feature touch screen LCD displays showing album cover art and enabling play, pause, volume control and FF/RW.
There is also the CITATION bar and sub and even a pair of Floorstanding Speakers all featuring Google voice technology and able to sync throughout your home for music everywhere - although no outdoor speakers have been included in the series, note that SONOS also hasn't launched a waterproof or outdoor speaker yet - something that's possibly a bit harder to implement as these speakers need to be powered with a plug and power socket whereas traditional outdoor speakers are waterproof and wired back to a central amplifier indoors.
It's great to see more and more companies, especially of this pedigree and with the backing of electronics GIANT Samsung getting into the smart speakers game. To my ears though all of these smart speakers aren't anywhere near the quality of sound a traditional pair of speakers wired up to a seperate amplifier would give, but that's the trade off.
I do wish that they would have launched a separate amplifier that featured the same CITATION technology so that people could make that choice if they wanted a higher quality sound.